Takata’s Tragic Airbag Mess – A Suggestion for A Safer Future
Takata’s Tragic Airbag Mess
I would like to offer a silver lining of hope for positive changes for safety that may result from this tragic current reality. With first hand knowledge, I can say that Takata has excellent scientists and engineers of integrity that can, and are needed to, advance safety with airbag technologies in and outside of automobiles. For examples, think pedestrian protection outside autos and child protection inside autos.
A recent NY Times series of articles on falls among the elderly reminded me of a long gone pioneering leader in the development of airbags – Dr. Carl C. Clark that I had the privilege to work with at NHTSA.
I would add that an aging population is not just a problem in the U.S. but in Japan and other places around the world.
“As his grandchildren’s laughter filters through the screen door, Carl Clark talks about his commitment to cushioning life’s blows. Retired from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 73-year-old scientist is still advocating interior air bags for airplanes, trains and school buses. He’s promoting ,, exterior air bags that spring from auto bumpers. He’s even invented a wearable air bag that inflates to prevent broken hips in the elderly.
Clark has spent 35 years urging the use of air bags — a concept he helped develop in 1961. Now, faced by widespread alarm over air bag-caused deaths, his biggest fear is that people will disconnect the devices he’s worked so hard to give them.”